My Current Camera Line-up

Posted on Updated on


Sony RX10, ISO80, f/5.0, 1/200" handheld.
Sony RX10, ISO80, f/5.0, 1/200″ handheld.

Someone recently ask what my current camera line up was so here goes:

Canon G7X – A nice, small carry anywhere pocket camera that’s a reasonable all round performer. It produces nice images from the 20Mpixel 1” sensor and seems very good at handling noise for a camera of this size. The RAW files are quite flexible and the image quality is good in the centre of the lens. I like the 24mm wide angle but find the corners are soft when you move in close to objects. The lens sharpness is OK but not exceptional. The worst thing about the camera is the lack of filter attachment. I have bought a Lensmate adapter but believe these have now been discontinued.

Olympus EM5 – I have two of these, one having been converted to Infrared. They are excellent cameras, especially with some of the lenses that are now available. If you have one of these cameras and find the results are not as good as you had hoped for, try changing your lenses. Image quality is excellent although I sometimes wish there were a few more pixels on the sensor. The image stabilization is nothing short of amazing, allowing you to hand hold at silly speeds. Noise is well handled and the colours are excellent. I find this camera is the perfect travel outfit and excels at Landscape work due to the depth of field that can be achieve from the Micro 43 sensor.

Sony A7r + Canon L Series lenses – I love this camera for Landscape work. The 36Mpixel sensor captures superb quality images, even when you push the ISO up. The images are large and exceptionally sharp. It is though more difficult to achieve a great shot than with the EM5. The EM5 copes with poor weather conditions very well but Sony tends to get blown around quite easily. Also being a larger camera it can be more difficult to keep dry in the wet. But, if I want outstanding image quality and colours, this is the outfit I turn to. The downside is that its full frame and sometimes it can be difficult to achieve the desired depth of field.

Sony RX10 – The lens on this camera is very nice as is the sensor. For a 20MPixel 1” sensor it performs exceptionally well, capturing the finest details. The 24-200 f/2.8 lens is great to use and very flexible. So as to avoid changing lenses, I tend to take this camera on day hikes with me. A single batter tends to last me all day. Where it struggles a little is that I don’t feel that it handles high contrast conditions well and the dynamic range isn’t as good as I would like. Noise is well handled despite the small sensor but the image stabilization is only just OK. Image quality is very good, especially in the central area of the lens but can soften in the corners and edges. With more distant fine detail, you can spot where the lens stops resolving the detail, possibly because it’s so sharp in other areas. Despite the short comings, it’s a very enjoyable camera to use but when travelling I opt for the EM5 rather than the RX10.

Hasselblad XPan + 30mm, 45mm and 90mm lenses – Yes it’s a film camera but it’s fantastic. The image quality and feel come down to your film choice as well as your abilities with a scanner. The camera is very solidly built and allows me to switch between regular 35mm and panoramic format images with a switch. The lenses are amazingly sharp and with the right film and scanning can produce exceptional quality. It’s a great camera to use and you can’t beat it for panoramic images where there is some movement in the frame e.g. waves on a beach.

Bronica SQ-Ai – Yes, this is a Medium Format film camera from a few years back. It’s also my most recent purchase. I have yet to try it out on a shoot but I will feedback when I do.

Olympus XA – 35mm film pocket camera. Small and fun to play with but the image quality is only OK.

Holga 120 – Medium Format film camera with dreadful build and image quality but the images produces and wonderfully artistic. What do you expect for £30.

That completes the line-up which I am really quite happy with.

6 thoughts on “My Current Camera Line-up

    Ken Clarke said:
    March 14, 2016 at 9:15 pm

    Great to see your camera line-up and to read your comments – thanks very much for your insight. The Bronica takes me back….I used to have a one of those back in the day! Keep up the good work and many thanks once again for the post.

      thelightweightphotographer said:
      March 14, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Thanks Ken. It’s great to know that others are interested. I can’t wait to try the Bronica out. I did use a Pentax 67II until a few years back and then sold it. I really liked medium format so when I saw the Bronica going for a very good price I couldn’t resist it. Even if I just keep it as a collectors item (but I wont).

    John Marsh said:
    March 15, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Although pretty far from light weight, the Bronica SQI system is a real beauty. It rivals Hasselblad, but it is much more consistent with its electrically controlled shutter. lenses are lighter but still superb. I have a couple mint copies and am also yearning to go back to the analog world and relive that magical realm of film. I am curious as to what film you might try with this. My own selection will probably be Fuji Acros 100. It has a great sensitivity to a variety of colors, thereby, not requiring much external filtration although yellow may be used to bring out skies. looking forward to you experience. By the way, if your are looking for more pixels from Olympus, they are offering a 20mp with the new Pen F or similar Lumix GX8.

      thelightweightphotographer said:
      March 15, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Hi John, I have seen the latest 20Mp line up from Olympus and Panasonic but it’s still not enough to tempt me away from the EM5. It’s just too good a camera and if I want pixels I can always use the Sony. As for film with the Bronica, for colour work I am using Kodak Portra 400 and Ektar 100. I’m also shooting some slide with Fuji Provia. I used to shoot exclusively slide (Velvia and Provia) but I haven’t made up my mind this time. I also have HP5 which I intend to push a couple of stops for a gritty look. The other film that I don’t yet have in 120 format (but have plenty in 35mm) is Adox CMS20. The resolution is absolutely amazing and whilst smooth, it doesn’t look digital. I will send the colour film off for processing but the HP5 I will process myself using Kodak HC110 or Rodinal. For the Adox I will use their special developer although I have had good results in the past with Rodinal.

        John Marsh said:
        March 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm

        I’m a black and white fan so color doesn’t interest me, but the Adox CMS20 looks incredible. At 800 line pairs per millimeter, according to specs, that film must rival some really high mega pixel digital sensors. It seems that it might be overkill in 120, but I could see it rivalling 4×5 with the Bronica. But at ISO 12 or 20 this begs a tripod and mirror lockup with all those mechanics in the Bronica at play. This sounds like fun for a resolution lust adventure! John

        thelightweightphotographer said:
        March 16, 2016 at 8:50 pm

        The Adox is amazing. I have only shot it on the XPan to date but I love the separation it gives. You can push it to ISO80 but it goes a little too contrasty. And in any event, the shooting approach you describe with mirror lock etc is exactly how I shoot so should be perfect. I just need to find a scanner that can do justice to the film. I believe there are examples of 12 feet wide images shot on a 35mm that look just like 4×5 (but you need exceptional technique in every aspect of the workflow). Worth playing around with.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s